Ben Hawking has taken on a new challenge, acting as temporary Health and Wellbeing Chair at Middlesbrough College.
Ben is a Health and Safety Advisor at the College, and has been in post for the past 6 years. This additional staff role involves supporting the team of staff Health Champions and chairing the half-termly operational meetings. Having previously worked in project management and safety consultancy within the construction industry, he has a wealth of experience to bring to the voluntary position.
The purpose of the group-led committee is to educate staff on all areas of occupational health, mental health and wellbeing. Since its formation in 2018, the group has worked together to review the College’s wellbeing policy, organise staff training and hold events to promote the importance of positive health and wellbeing in the workplace.
Each directorate now has a Health Champion who have received training to facilitate discussions and signpost other staff members to the appropriate support.
Ben said: “I’d like to start measuring the impact of activity on staff, so that we can be more targeted in the training and events available.”
Ben has first-hand experience of how beneficial staff health and wellbeing events can be in College. After having a free health MOT from the Sports Department in the Wellbeing Centre, he found out his blood pressure was higher than average.
He said: “Without the check-up in College I would have had no idea as there are no visible symptoms.
“I was pleased that it was flagged early, since then I booked an appointment with my GP and found out it was hereditary.
“Following the check-up I’ve taken a few small lifestyle changes such as cutting out coffee and improving my fitness by climbing and running.”
Gymworld offer free health checks for all staff and students in the College. For further details, call the Gymworld Team on 01642 333577.